Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny
In this era of expanding and expansive government it serves us well to consider the concept and meaning of force. For government is indeed a repository for and of force, and even a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people" can become corrupted. Unless kept in check by a forever vigilant and watchful eye of the people.
Authority and power are two different things: power is the force by means of which you can oblige others to obey you. Authority is the right to direct and command, to be listened to or obeyed by others. Authority requests power. Power without authority is tyranny.
JACQUES MARITAIN, "The Democratic Charter," Man and the State
Power is given only to those who dare to lower themselves and pick it up. Only one thing matters, one thing; to be able to dare!
FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY, Crime and Punishment
It is a mistake, that a lust for power is the mark of a great mind; for even the weakest have been captivated by it; and for minds of the highest order, it has no charms.
CHARLES CALEB COLTON, Lacon
Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, Circular to the States, May 9, 1753
Power always sincerely, conscientiously, de très bon foi, believes itself right. Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views, beyond the comprehension of the weak.
JOHN ADAMS, letter to Thomas Jefferson, Feb. 2, 1816
Power attracts the corruptible. Suspect all who seek it.
FRANK HERBERT, Chapterhouse: Dune
The fundamental article of my political creed is that despotism, or unlimited sovereignty, or absolute power, is the same in a majority of a popular assembly, an aristocratical council, an oligarchical junto, and a single emperor. Equally arbitrary, cruel, bloody, and in every respect diabolical.
JOHN ADAMS, letter to Thomas Jefferson, Nov. 13, 1815
I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be.
THOMAS JEFFERSON, letter to Mr. Leiper, Jun. 12, 1815
Liberty is only a heartbeat away from the authority and power that seeks to shackle us. Let us be ever vigilant and steadfast. Believe not those who would convince you that government, and the power it wields is benign.